The clashes of the 2022 World Cup continue, with Australia taking the lead against France.
Argentina lost the first match of the day after Saudi Arabia stunned Lionel Messi and co. with statistically the most unlikely clash at a World Cup. Highly rated Denmark also failed to score three points on the first claim, drawing against Tunisia in France’s other group game.
Holders of the competition, the Blues succumbed to a strike from Craig Goodwin, the 30-year-old Adelaide United star, stopping after a cross. More misfortune followed for head coach Didier Deschamps, as Lucas Hernandez hit the deck despite not connecting with an opponent, appearing to have twisted his knee.
What a start for the Socceroos! 🙌Craig Goodwin gave Australia an early lead over France 😲🇫🇷 0-1 🇦🇺💻🖥📱 Watch on @BBCiPlayer, listen on @BBCSounds, get more on the app @BBCSport#BBCWorldCup #BBCFootball pic. twitter.com/fQJedcEzMsNovember 22, 2022
Goodwin, who has only been capped 10 times by the Socceroos, wasted no time in capitalizing on France’s troubles to score a stunning first goal.
Bayern Munich star Hernandez has been replaced by his brother Theo, who plays for AC Milan, in an early switch. The injury will be a blow to Deschamps, who is already missing a number of key stars.
The midfield duo of 2018 triumph, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba have been ruled out of the 2022 edition through injury. RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku then had to drop out of the squad after France named their 26-man roster.
Perhaps the biggest loss of the lot, Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema was then sidelined for the entire World Cup, giving Oliver Giroud the opportunity to lead the line for the two-time champions of the world. Milan striker Giroud is two goals shy of Thierry Henry’s all-time record.
Mike Maignan, Presnel Kimpembe and Raphael Varane also suffered from injuries: only the latter was part of the France team.